The Australian Nanny Association recently became aware of a terrible situation where a family engaged the services of a person claiming to be a nanny directly from an online parents group. This person stated that they had a Working With Children Check and other background information but unfortunately the family was not aware that they needed to sight this documentation and verify it.
The person did not hold a Working With Children Check. The family only became aware of the gravity of the situation when there was an unexplained incident with their child whilst in the care of the person hired as a nanny. An Ambulance was called to assist and due to the odd unexplained nature of the incident, Police were also called to investigate. The child was hospitalised and upon further investigation it was found that the person the family had hired as their nanny and was working illegally with children without holding a Working With Children Check and other standard documentation a professional nanny would typically hold.
The Australian Nanny Association recommends that all families either engage the services of a professional nanny agency to undertake thorough background checks of the nanny they are wanting to engage or if hiring directly that parents understand the legal and recommended requirements involved. People working with children in all states and territories either require a Working With Children Check or Working WIth Vulnerable People Check. It is standard industry practice that nannies hold current First aid and CPR, have undertaken professional development training in child care and can also provide recent contactable professional child care related referees, most importantly hold a current and clear Working With Children Check.
After the ANA raised the issue reminding parents of the need to validate the WWCC in a 3000 member online parenting group it was obvious that many parents – especially those engaging au pairs were not aware that it is a legal requirement for au pairs, babysitters and nannies to hold a current Working With Children Check. Given the findings and recommendations at the recent Royal Commission into Child Abuse it is something that the ANA believes and hopes parents will take seriously when engaging people to care for their precious children.
The ANA would also like to see further promotion and awareness campaigns informing families of the importance of ‘Checking the Check’ with the Working With Children Check.
Further information for your local area can be found here: https://www.australiannannyassociation.org.au/working-with-children-check/
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